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#GoodbyeTNS: From the cobbles of Spain to the catwalks of London


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As The National Student closes its doors at the end of the week, current Fashion Editor Charlie Torode tells us what the platform means to her.

I’ve known that fashion journalism was the career for me long before I chose to study Spanish at university “just in case” I changed my mind, and needed a backup plan.  Needless to say, six years after I took a small tour of England in order to choose my university, having been everywhere from BAFTA to Brick Lane via eco fashion, astrology, the backup plan isn’t needed and fashion is still where my heart lies.

I found The National Student at the perfect moment: I was beginning to panic about my lack of experience and job prospects as a Spanish-speaking arts student in a world increasingly full of fashion and journalism degrees. I became a contributor and started to cover everything from ill-conceived Vogue covers to footbed sandals for every budget. Now, thanks to The National Student, I’ve found my writing style and tone of voice. I even got my first #spon on Instagram.  

By the time I’d become the fashion editor, I’d had the chance to really work out where my attention and interest lay in this expansive industry. What started as a journalistic challenge to buy no new clothes for three months ended up opening my eyes to a new way to embrace and celebrate the industry that I love.  Along with Ruby, our lifestyle editor, we curated our Behind the Brand series which brought the spotlight to some of the most exciting and innovative ethical brands out there.  Without a doubt, what I’ll miss the most is having a platform to meet and present these people and their ideas, from sunglasses funding eye tests throughout Africa to espadrilles providing jobs and training in London.  

Image courtesy of Charlie Torode

At an interview for a dream fashion internship at a magazine, I was told I was one of the chattiest candidates ever. The National Student played a huge part in that; I’ve spent every week for a very long time researching and writing about so much that I’ve gained knowledge and opinions by the bucket-load.  It’s one thing reading about something, but it’s another to understand and write about it for an audience. I can’t help but feel sorry that a new generation of budding journalists and editors won’t have the chance that I did to do just that.

Image courtesy of Charlie Torode

One of my last opportunities with The National Student was covering Graduate Fashion Week with Camille and Ruby. The chance to watch and review new designers and their collections was exciting, educational. Sitting approximately three metres away from Christopher Bailey, I learnt a valuable lesson in professionalism, and not losing one’s mind at inappropriate moments (I even resisted taking a sneaky pic for my Instagram story). 

Who knows what the future holds?  With any luck, I’ll be reviewing plenty more fashion shows in the coming decades.  But even if I’m front row at Dior, I’ll always remember my first foray into this wonderful world and the magazine that gave me the chance to do so.  

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